Did you know that two out of every three caregivers in the United States are women? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women who are caregivers are at greater risk of poor physical and mental health. Toss a pandemic into the mix, and the stress level rises, making it more critical for women to take care of themselves.
While it may be easier said than done, eating well, getting enough exercise, practicing good sleep habits, and avoiding excess alcohol all are healthy behaviors and play a role in women’s health. But what other factors or conditions can arise that may impact a woman’s wellbeing? Here, we discuss a few.
Every woman needs health screenings because they help detect health issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. Screenings can identify diseases – like osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer – in their early stages and help to identify if a woman is at risk of certain conditions. What’s more, when a woman has a family history of diabetes, stroke, or cardiovascular disease, screenings can be used as a preventative measure.
The accidental loss of urine, or urinary incontinence, affects more than 25 million American adults, but is more common in women over the age of 50. While it is unwelcome, inconvenient and at times, embarrassing, it is caused by specific changes in body function that can be temporary or chronic. For example, many women develop incontinence during pregnancy or after childbirth, and after going through menopause. Just as there are different types of incontinence, there are also different treatments that may be used, based on age and type of incontinence. If you are experiencing any discomfort or leakage when you urinate, consult with your healthcare provider.
Varicose veins can appear anywhere but are most likely to be found in legs and feet, and yes, women are more prone to them than men. Usually, they are genetic although other factors such as weight and pregnancy can bring them on, too. There are things you can do to decrease the chance of varicose veins developing like not standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time. Experts also suggest avoiding wearing tight clothes on your waist or upper thighs as well as high heels because both can impede your circulation and cause varicose veins. While many are unpleasant to look at, varicose veins at times can cause discomfort and should be checked out if they become swollen and tender, have created sores on the skin, if one begins to bleed or they are interfering with daily activities.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention breast care, something that every woman needs to take seriously. While October is breast cancer awareness month and a time to support and honor the people we know affected by breast cancer, you can honor yourself and practice good breast care by performing a breast self-exam once per month. This will help you determine any changes that may occur or anything out of the ordinary such as lumps, redness, nipple discharge, or skin changes.
While it is always important to take care of yourself, it has never been more important that you do so now. Please contact one of the healthcare providers at Hudson Physician’s if you have any questions about any aspect of your physical, mental or emotional health.